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IHT: Third successive loss for Arron Banks

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Arron Banks has yet again lost his appeal against an IHT bill of £162,945.34 charged in respective of donations he made to the UKIP political party in 2014/15.

7th Jan 2022
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Banks made a series of 14 donations to the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in 2014/15 totalling £976,781.38. The IHT liability arises from the lifetime rate of 20% applied to the amount of the donation which exceeded Banks’ unused nil rate band (then £325,000).

Donations made to political parties can be exempt from IHT if the section 24 IHTA 1984 conditions are satisfied. Section 24 states that an exemption applies if at the last general election preceding the transfer of value:

  • two members of that party were elected to the House of Commons, or
  • one member of that party was elected to the House of Commons and not less than 150,000 votes were given to candidates who were members of that party.

HMRC argued the two MPs were not elected at the last general election, so the section 24 exemption did not apply and IHT was payable.

UKIP did have two MPs at the time of the donations, but they had both been elected at by-elections, not at the previous general election. Hence when Banks made the donations, UKIP did not qualify as a political party for the IHT relief.

FTT and UT decisions

Banks appealed HMRC’s decision to the first tier tax tribunal and then subsequently the upper tribunal on the grounds that the IHT Act was discriminatory under article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and breached his and UKIP’s human rights (freedom of expression article 10 and freedom of assembly article 11).

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Replies (8)

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By Hugo Fair
07th Jan 2022 16:27

I know we're a non-partisan bunch on here (or so the mods keep telling me) ... but am I the only one to find it amusing when the leading funder of UKIP uses the ECHR to claim discrimination?

Thanks (11)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
07th Jan 2022 17:52

I find it hilarious. And they keep on doing it too. There are numerous instances of Brexiteers who one minute claim its an abomination, using it - and failing - I don't think they have read it.

Its not a universal 'get of jail free' card they claim when it is opposed.

Thanks (4)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Justin Bryant
08th Jan 2022 09:50

The joke is also on you here, as the only true irony is his deployment of EU law freedoms arguments (not HRA 1998 - which is the UK statute that engages the European Convention on Human Rights - it could just as well be called the Swiss Convention on Human Rights etc.) per the above link. The Convention just happens to dealt with at ECHR as its highest court of appeal (not ECJ/CJEU) and that is totally regardless of and unaffected by Brexit (the Convention is still dealt with in UK courts, unlike EU law freedoms arguments arising since 1.1.21).

Thanks (1)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By vstrad
10th Jan 2022 10:09

You seem to be confusing the ECHR with the CJEU. The former is not an EU body and a number of non-EU member states are participants.

Thanks (1)
Replying to vstrad:
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By Hugo Fair
10th Jan 2022 10:49

You're quite correct with your final sentence, but have read far too much into my initial comment (i.e. I never said the ECHR was an EU body).

But ECHR (both the Court and the Convention) are creatures (irrespective of their many benefits) of the EU-driven dream:

"The ECHR, also known as the Strasbourg Court, is an international court of the Council of Europe which interprets the European Convention on Human Rights."

"ECHR (formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity."

But, more importantly, are you saying that you don't find Arron Banks amusing (either in general or with regards to the application referenced in the article)?

Thanks (1)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Justin Bryant
10th Jan 2022 11:18

Yes, you're right it's amusing, but for the wrong reason is the only (innocent) point being made here.

Perhaps if Capital Transfer Tax had not been renamed Inheritance Tax AB would not have made this expensive mistake in the 1st place.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By More unearned luck
10th Jan 2022 18:13

The ECHR is not part of any EU-driven dream. The ECHR pre-dates the EEC (the former body to the EU). Britain had a large input into its creation and drafting the chairman of the relevant committee British MP and lawyer Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe.

In any event the EU has its own charter of fundamental rights (but it also requires member states to sign up to the ECHR).

There is a consultation document out at the moment as mad bad Raab wants to curtail our access to convention rights. We also have a bill to make challenging minsters by JR more difficult, another to make voting more difficult and another to restrict the right to protest, an existing edict to fly the union jack at every conceivable occasion from every possible place (even indoors eg behind minsters giving press conferences) and a proposal to make the BBC play the national anthem daily (which it does anyway?). To slightly misquote Gary Lineker all very North Korean.

Thanks (1)